Pinterest Wood Pallet Project – Part 2

Pinterest Wood Pallet Project

Pinterest Wood Pallet Project – Here is the finished product. Looks even better in person!

Welcome to part 2 of my Pinterest wood pallet project.  As you can see from the shot above, I finished it!

In part one I showed you how to find, transport and prep the wood pallet boards. Now it’s time to install them on the wall.

Well, almost time. First we need to prep the wall. I know, you’re anxious to just nail them up there. Trust me. You don’t want to miss this step.

Pinterest Wood Pallet Project – Wall Prep

wood pallet project - paint the background dark brown

Wall, painted dark brown. You can see where the gap between the boards would be.

You need to paint the wall a dark color before you nail up the wood pallet boards.

Yes, most of the paint will be covered by the boards but these are not perfectly cut boards. The wall is going to show through wherever a board has a hole or a notch.

I painted my wall a dark chocolate brown. I happened to have this color left-over from the trim of the basement bathroom.

You could also use a complimentary color. Here’s one pinterest shot where they are using baby blue.

About the only color you don’t want is white. No… You can’t skip… it will look stupid and amateur. It only takes a few minutes — PAINT FIRST!

Board Selection for Wood Pallet Wall

random placing of wood pallet boards

Looks completely random right? Well, it’s actually modified random.

I wanted the placement of the boards to look completely random – not as easy to achieve as you might think.

You would have to find and prep a lot of wood pallet boards to get any significant uniformity in your wall. It’s totally cool if that’s what you’re going for, just realize it will take awhile.

I actually prefer what I called “modified random“. Put two or three pieces together of similar color. Then switch colors, then do two or three of completely different colors.

In the end you want the give the impression that ‘you hadn’t a care in world’ when you built the wall. It just happened to turn out awesome.

Don’t worry about boards that are not perfect. Just put them up and scatter the really bad ones throughout. It adds character to the wall and again reinforces your “laisseze-fair” attitude.

Installation

When I saw the wood pallet wall photo on my Pinterest page I knew it was going to be harder than it looked. And so far, it has been.

But now the fun part is starting. We’re ready to install the boards.

You can probably get away with a chop saw but I highly recommend setting up a table saw.

tools for pinterest wood pallet wall installation

I know it can seem like a lot of tools but once you have the essentials, there’s really no project you can’t do.

Cut the wood to size and then nail it to the wall. I recommend a brad nailer. I did not use any glue.

Be sure to note where any electrical lines may be and avoid nailing in those areas, even though by code they should be a couple of inches back from the front of the stud.

Use a level on the first board you install, the rest of the boards will go off of the first one as their reference point. I started in the middle of the shortest wall.

It’s your project, but I would not recommend installing the boards vertically, unless you’re doing a knee-wall style treatment. Go horizontal.

Wood Pallet Wall – Trimming the Edges

I did not bother trying to miter the edges of two adjoining boards. I cut them as flush as possible and then added a pieces of 90 degree trim.

I think the trim really pulls the whole look together. It takes something that looks rustic and somewhat haphazard and adds sophistication and intent.

Don’t skip on the trim.

wood pallet wall for basement trimmed edge

Here you can see the trimmed edges. And Cameron, promising not touch the wet paint.

Staggering Board Seams

If you have a longer section of wall to cover be sure to stagger the seams so they look naturally un-uniform.

stagger the wood pallet boards

I also had to use the miter saw to do some angled cuts where the stair railing slopes down.

Pinterest Wood Pallet Project Timeline

If you devote fully to it, you can knock this project out in two weekends. Mine stretched into three but only because I skipped a couple of Sundays to watch baseball instead. Go Nationals!

Weekend 1:

Friday Night –  Convince wife / husband that nailing garbage wood to your wall IS a good idea.

Saturday – Procure and prep the wood pallet boards.

Sunday – Realize you need more wood pallet boards and get some more.

( The project you see here took about 1 and 1/2 car loads of wood pallets. )

Weekend 2:

Friday night after work –  Prep the wall (paint it a dark color) and the worksite (setup tools and saws and stuff)

Saturday – Cut and install the boards

Sunday – Install the trim and cleanup

Wood Pallet Wall – Looks Awesome

basement finishing jason 205I still have a few more decorating finishes to add but all in all I love it!

The project really did cost zero dollars. Of course I already had the tools thanks to my basement finishing project.

I’ve already thought about where I’m going next.  Definitely doing the dartboard back stop with a similar treatment and probably some sort of shelving unit.

Have you ever created something out of  wood pallet wood?

Let me know what you built in the comments below.

Cheers – Jason

 

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Comments

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  1. Love the post! Lots of details and pictures that people will really appreciate!

    Cheers,
    Trent

  2. Hi Jason,
    I just came across your posts and wanted to thank you for them (I really appreciate your sense of humor, too)! I acquired about 50 old pallets recently via Craig’s list. ; ) Free. My Union Carpenter brother scoffed when I suggested I might make things from them, but I am thrifty and who listens to their siblings anyway?
    So…I bought myself a jigsaw and some blades, as it was cheaper than a sawzall (sp?) and my table saw is still 5 1/2 hours from here in my dad’s shop. : (
    I’m building some patio furniture first, and will go from there. Shelves, tables and a bar for my basement.
    Thanks again!

    • Darci – You’re welcome, it was my pleasure. My next wood pallet project is going to be a backstop for my dartboard in the basement which I still have not hung up! – Jason

  3. fernando says:

    hey Jason, wall looks great man! a few things (questions). First off thanks for the tip on part 1 about the chemically treated wood, didn’t think about it, but it makes great sense.
    So one question, did you sand the wood at all? i just started my project and i had to do a lot of sanding to not get a hand full of splinters. Also do you suggest using a nail gun / compressor, i intend on do pilot holes and just drive a nail with the hammer. Lastly, I have a lot of new wood and doesnt have the character or age to, did you do any light painting or staining at all?
    hey man, any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

    • Fernando – Great questions, I definitely need to do a follow up post on some of these but here are the quick and dirty answers.
      1. I did not sand the wood at all. I did wear gloves while working with it, definitely splinter possibilities.
      2. It’s faster to use an air gun but of course much more expensive, you can certainly get away with manual nailing, pilot holes are a good idea as these split easily, screws might also work and be faster.
      3. I know what you mean, the last two pallets I found I couldn’t use because they where to new. I’m actually letting those sit outside to get some age on them, but to finish this project I had to drive around until I found some old ones. Staining new ones wouldn’t be that hard, but I’m not sure how they would blend with the natural aged finished boards.

      I did not do any painting or staining of any kind. I’m lazy like that.

      Good luck – send me a picture when you’re done!

      Cheers – Jason

      ps. I wish my name was Fernando. Awesome!

  4. Hi Jason,

    I enjoyed reading your article when I was researching some ideas for our basement project. Dont know when we will start though as we have a 10 month old daughter. I enjoyed the way your kids helped, especially Cameron! I really like the way you have given it in pics. Seems easy, but I am sure it was a lot of hard work.

    Sunita

    • Sunita – Thanks for coming by. At ten months it’s definitely hard to get projects started. But around 2 years and up the kids want to do everything that you’re doing. Of course they can’t actually hold a saw or a nail gun but they can just play outside while you’re working on a project and tag around with you asking a zillion funny questions. -Jason

  5. Love your wall. Thanks for sharing step by step! I have one brick wall in my family room right behind the old wood burning stove. The room has brick floors as well and everything is dark. So, I was thinking of nailing some pallet boards on the brick wall and leaving it blond-ish. What sort of equipment and nails/screws do you think I would need for this? Thanks much.

  6. Jason,

    Very, very cool !

    When you nailed the boards up, did you have nail into studs or did you not worry about it ?

    Again, very cool.

    David B

    • Thanks David – I tried to hit at least one stud with a nail at the top and bottom of the board but for the rest of the nails I didn’t worry about it. Feels really solid. – Jason

  7. Hi
    i have a question about one of you steps.
    you said that you have to ‘Procure and prep the wood pallet boards’
    what does that involve?
    thanks so much for your help with that
    claire

    • Hello Claire – By procure I just mean go out and find some wood pallets and get them back to your house. You can fit about 5 or 6 in a mini-van, check around grocery stores, office parks etc, usually they’re in or near the trash if they don’t want them anymore.

      For prep I mean dismantling the pallet into individual boards. Depending on what you plan to make this may or may not be necessary. I cut the end of the boards with a sawzall, then pried off the nails in the middle with a mini-crow bar.

      For me the entire process to find, transport and prep 6 pallets was about 3 hours, once I had my technique down. For my wood pallet wall project, I need 10 wooden pallets.

      Hope that helps – Jason

  8. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for sharing this! I do have a question, what did you do with the center where the original nails are? Did you take the nails out and leave the holes or fill them, or did you just cut the nails on the back leaving the nails in place?

    Thanks again,
    Rara

    • Rara – Yup, good question. I removed almost all of the nails. I did not fill the holes, looks better with without filling. On the few that broke off I left them in or if I couldn’t pop them out then I bent them and nailed them flush in the wood. You hardly notice the nail holes, they just seem to add even more character. Good Luck! – Jason

  9. “Random dude” Hilarious! I love that picture, having wooden furniture is so nice, I love light oak :-)

    Thanks for the post

  10. hi Jason your tutorial was awesome and very inspiring. we are doing the same in my basement, unfortunately the walls are cinder block, making a real challenge for me. BUT i thought i would attatch furring strips first , then attatch the boards to the strips. what do you think??

  11. Thank you so much for the post. I am so excited to get my project going. I have been looking all over then internet to find better details on how to do a project like this. Thanks for all the detail in the steps & the light chuckles while reading it. I am tackling this project this week!

    • No problem Melissa, email me some pictures of your finished wall / project. – Jason ([email protected])

  12. Jason…did you have to build around plugs or switches? I see from the photo that your garage door opener run on top of the board.

    Sean

    • Sean – Yes, I had the double light switch to deal with. I installed the wood around it, then killed the power, unscrewed the switches and re-installed them flush with the wood. Not too bad. – Jason

  13. Hey Jason, did you do anything in terms of cleaning and/or staining the wood before mounting it? I have some pallets that are pretty dirty. I was trying to find a way to clean them up a bit. I had also thought of staining them to make them a bit darker. But I do want to keep that natural rustic, worn look. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Lianne – Nope. Nothing. I suppose it they had dirt or mud on them I’d hit it with a hose for a few seconds. Mine was a garage wall so I really wanted a natural rustic look. For an interior wall I’m also considering white washing or stain to give it some uniformity and style. I think that’s a great idea.

      Good luck – send me a picture when you’re finishing so I can add it to this post.

      Jason

  14. LOL you are by far the funniest…….enjoyed this tremendously…I’m aware it was not written to be totally hilarious but it was…..I’m a widow tho for all my married life my husband and I were do it yourselfers…we worked good together…I recently became interested in using pallets for projects…so that is why i read your site…thanks for info and the laffs…

  15. Your work looks great, great advice for those wanting to do this.My wife and i currently Remodeled our living room in tounge and groove barn wood, and it turned out awesome! we also put up deck boards in one bathroom and are now putting up pallet wood in our second bath. Thanks again!

  16. I actually finished a similar project about a month ago for my fiance’s revamped furniture shop. Turned out amazing. I really like the trim on your wall. Ties everything in for the clean vs. rustic feel.

    I did want to add a tip that may or may not help to future reclaim-wall-diyerse. I used a 1/4″ underlayment plywood across the entire wall in combination with a brad nailer. Since my wall is in a publicly visited shop I needed some structural reassurance that it would not budge. Home Depot sells these sheets for $14/sheet.

    Enjoyed your post immensely!

  17. I love this!!!! I am going toconvince my husband to dothis to our bathroom!!!! I think it will look fantastic!!!!!!!!! thank you so much and please keep posting your projects!!!!!! or email them to me!!!!!!

    • Trisha – He’ll need some “extra” convincing once he realizes he has to take apart those pallets but after that the project is really fun. Take some pictures, I’d love to share them on the blog. – Jason

  18. Walls looks awesome. Def planning on doing this in one of the rooms of my house not sure which one yet. I am actually starting a shed project tomorrow morning using only pallets excited to see how it turns out. thanks for the article.

  19. Looks great!!! Thanks for the details and the honesty!! The heat treat vs chemical tip was great!

  20. Looks good. Do you recall how thick the boards were?

  21. Hi Jason, awesome tutorial; your wall looks beautiful.

    I have a question re: ever having to remove the pallet wall. As someone who has actually finished their wall, how much damage do you think will be done to the drywall if the pallets ever have to be removed. Like, would patching the holes work? Or are we talking completely new drywall install.

    Thank you!

    Andrea

    • Hi Andrea – As long as you’re using small brad finishing nails it should won’t be any problem to patch up the holes. You would just need a bit of spackle and you’re back to regular drywall. Besides, why would ever want to remove such an awesome wood pallet wall! – Jason

  22. Jason: How large was your wall? You said you used 6 pallets. Right?

  23. Nice work Jason.
    Did you worry about nailing into studs or use and special nails to hold into the drywall?

  24. Jason,
    Just getting started on putting pallets on our bathroom walls. Do you suggest that we put some sort of clear coat on them for the bathroom? Also, I am having a hard time deciding if I should put the pallets vertical or horizontal. Thanks for you help. Loved your pics and reading all you questions and answers. Thanks again.

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